Wildly promotional? It's practically a sure bet that will be the tenor of the second half based on the relentless discounting of the past several holiday seasons. It's what shoppers expect and retailers can't wean themselves away from it.Still, over the last few weeks as the quarterly data was posted, retailers signaled that they will come out of the back half of the year in good shape, based on business picking up in the second quarter, controlled inventories, continued integrations between online and brick-and-mortar operations and low unemployment. Wild cards that could disrupt the back half include flare ups with North Korea, findings from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia, a derailing of the Republican agenda for tax cuts, Wall Street volatility and an act of terrorism.Poised to do well in the second half are Home Depot, Costco, TJX and Ross, which are already doing well, as is Old Navy and Wal-Mart, which has been setting itself up for a strong performance with its Jet.com, Moosejaw and Bonobos acquisitions. Apparel specialty is still limping along for the most part and is not expected to pick up anytime soon.Department stores, which have been beset by necessary store closings, Internet competition and inconsistent shopper traffic, have been upbeat about the second half. "Macy’s results for the second quarter were in line with our expectations, and we are on track to meet 2017 sales and earnings guidance,” said Jeff Gennette, president and chief executive officer.“We anticipate that the marketplace will remain very promotional,” said Marvin Ellison, J.C. Penney's chairman and ceo. “There may be some accelerated promotional activity in the second half of the year versus what we’ve traditionally seen, but we are prepared for that. It is built into our earnings guidance, and even with that, we are very confident that we will meet our earnings guidance for the second half of the year in the face of what we think will be a slightly more promotional environment.”
A week ago, National Retail Federation chief economist Jack Kleinhenz summed up the situation. “Consumer spending remains solid as retail sales saw healthy improvements in July and revised June numbers were also positive. We have yet to see the full effect of back-to-school spending, but a pickup in spending was evident both online and in general merchandise, which includes bricks-and-mortar department stores. Rising home values are encouraging home-improvement spending and home-related retail purchases.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion